Leawood welcomes AMC headquarters

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Jobs are leaving Kansas City, Mo. AMC Theatres is moving its world headquarters to a place ripe with development.

Park Place Leawood already boasts a W Hotel, Sushi bar, blocks of boutiques, restaurants and signs promising more. In their Monopoly themed development, developers were looking for one landmark corporation to move in. Who knew it was next door?

"We're very excited that AMC is coming," said Jeff Alpert, Park Place Leawood's co-developer. "I think it's a validation of the unique environment we've created here."

AMC Theatres, based in Kansas City for 91 years, is moving across State Line Road into Leawood.

"This is a major deal for Leawood," said Kevin Jeffries, CEO of the Leawood Chamber of Commerce. "I've worked at the chamber for 13 years and been in Leawood for over 20 years and this is probably our biggest deal yet."

On the northwest corner of Park Place, AMC will have a four-story, 100,000 square foot building. It comes with a reported $45 million in incentives from the state of Kansas.

"It's a lose, lose for the metro area," said Ed Ford, a Kansas City councilman. "It's certainly not benefiting the state of Kansas or its residents."

Ford believes Kansas is taking money from school budgets used instead to poach big business. Leawood Mayor said that is not how it worked.

"Not at all," said Peggy Dunn, Leawood's Mayor. "We had no tax abatement or TIFF that we offered and they were the ones looking to relocate. We certainly did not seek them out."

"We've got the real estate they need and anybody who is in the real estate business and development business knows that the real estate is what drives it more than anything," Jeffries said. "If you've got the right real estate, they're going to look at you."

Looking at what's happening in Park Place, Leawood is not finished growing.

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